New Howelsen skatepark kickflips into place next fall

Liam Siefken practices some tricks on his scooter at the Howelsen Skatepark in Steamboat Springs in 2020. The skatepark will receive a facelift in 2023 with all new features and more tentatively planned for the fall.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

With official approval from Steamboat Springs City Council, the Howelsen skatepark will receive a total makeover tentatively planned for the fall of 2023. 

As it stands, the current skatepark has had infrastructure issues and continually requires repairs, replacements and other maintenance done for safety. 

The ramps have been re-skinned and resurfaced multiple times and Parks and Recreation has determined it would be safer and more financially logical to construct a new skatepark. 

“As a staff we identified the needs,” said project manager Matt Barnard. “Obviously the skate park is long past its useful life. We’ve done several replacements of the current skate surface out there and it’s to the point right now where it needs to be redone.” 

Barnard says it did not take long for Parks and Recreation to bump it up the list as a priority and when the committee brought it in front of City Council, the council was quick to approve the idea. The project will receive funding through the city’s annual Capital Improvement Project budget process.

To satisfy the wants of the public, Parks and Recreation decided to open up the plan to Steamboat citizens by organizing a steering committee. 

“We are assembling a steering committee where we are reaching out to the local community,” Barnard said. “We want to grab somebody from every different demographic age so we get lots of input.”

Howelsen skatepark, set up in the Howelsen parking lot, will undergo a new look with a re-design tentatively coming in the fall of 2023.
City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy photo

The point of the steering committee is to get as much input as possible and ensure the right features will be made available for users of the skatepark. Features that are agreed upon by the steering committee will become high priority for the park. 

The committee will meet three times in January with the first meeting on Jan. 4. Barnard is hopeful to get a wider age range of participants and urges any local elementary, middle and high school students to apply to join. 

An application to join the steering committee can be found on the city’s website. The deadline to apply is Dec. 28. 

Parks and Recreation will also look to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Sk8 Church for input.

The skatepark will not be able to expand meaning the dimensions are already known. It is projected to take seven months for designers to build the features off-site and once complete, they will be shipped to town. 

“We are looking into some other improvements as well,” Barnard said. “Some additional seating areas, possibly some shade areas, possibly some specific lighting for the area. All those things are going to be on the table during these steering committee discussions to see what the group is after and what their interests are.”

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